North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco is making it an even 10 terms in office, serving eight of them as mayor, after he and the board of commissioners were sworn in earlier today.
Sacco’s four running mates predictably sung his praises for his continued leadership, emphasizing over and over again that he is “Mr. North Bergen,” as Revenue and Finance Commissioner Julio Marenco put it.
“It’s hard because he’s got North Bergen on the brain 24/7 and everybody else is normal,” Marenco joked.
“So, he’ll call you mid-sentence and be like ‘so this is going on.’ The music at the club can be bumping, or anybody can be going ‘you have Mayor Sacco waiting’ … but that’s the cheap price that the North Bergen residents get. They get a 24/7 servant at all times.”
Department of Public Works Commissioner Frank Gargiulo, who has also been in office for over three decades, called the mayor “crazy” – but he meant it in the best way possible.
“He’s crazy, but that craziness makes something special about him and about what the community’s about. These things don’t just happen,” Gargiulo explained.
“When I got involved here, I guess it was 35 or 38 years ago, the town was hurting in every aspect — I could tell you, but I don’t want to repeat all the pieces — and we needed someone with great leadership ability and with great vision, because without those two things, we’re back to where we were.”
Sacco, also the state senator of the 32nd legislative district who was first elected commissioner back in 1985, said this election cycle was the most enthusiastic he’s ever seen the residents for his ticket.
“As we went around, even Election Day, people were stopping us and telling us they were with us and it was really a great feeling to go through that campaign and see that people were responding,” Sacco recalled.
“They believed in our message, they knew we were trying to make North Bergen a better place and [it was] a very, very effective campaign. All of you were part of it and the commissioners also walked and did their part.”
Hudson County Superior Court Assignment Judge Peter Bariso performed the oath of offices, and to the surprise of no one, Sacco was then unanimously appointed (5-0) mayor by the board of commissioners during a quick meeting inside Town Hall.
Last week, Sacco again defeated Larry Wainstein by a margin of about 69 percent to 31 percent, slightly up from when they first faced off in 2015 (65 percent to around 35 percent).
The whole ceremony was streamed live on our Facebook page and be viewed below: